WELCOME TO ROCKVILLE: More than 200,000 fans flock to Florida festival

May 16—"I believe that music can change people ...

I believe that music can be there for us when the chips are down ...

I believe in the power of music, Daytona Beach ...

That is what I believe!" — JELLY ROLL

The unbelievable — and indestructible — power of music was showcased in a stunning display last week during four days inside the Daytona Motor Speedway.

More than 200,000 people witnessed this year's Welcome To Rockville, smashing the festival's attendance record. The event featured more than 140 bands across five stages, highlighted by memorable headlining performances from Motley Crue, Limp Bizkit, Foo Fighters and Slipknot.

The line-up also featured Rock N Roll Hall of Fame inductees Judas Priest, along with Greta Van Fleet, Disturbed, Jelly Roll, Evanescence, Queens of the Stone Age, Falling In Reverse, Anthrax, Primus, Breaking Benjamin and Sum 41.

"Wow! There's a lot of people here," Stone Temple Pilots singer Jeff Gutt said as he looked out over the crowd on Saturday afternoon.

The massive crowds allowed Welcome To Rockville to re-claim the title of "Biggest Rock Festival in North America," topping last year's Louder Than Life (180,000 — Louisville, Kentucky). Since moving to Daytona in 2021, the Danny Wimmer Presents festival has drawn more than 670,000 fans — many coming from all across the country and the world.

"We are setting a world record here in Daytona Beach," Noodles, guitarist of Offspring, said jokingly to the crowd on Friday afternoon. "In attendance tonight there are 3,936,104 people! And each one of them is a beautiful soul."

The Foo Fighters returned to the festival for the first time since 2018 and delighted a huge crowd on Saturday night with a setlist filled with their iconic hits, like "Everlong," "Learn To Fly," "Times Like These" and "My Hero," along with a few deep cuts.

The band was also joined by Wolfgang Van Halen, who performed his father's epic guitar solo from "Eruption."

The Foo Fighters were scheduled to play Welcome to Rockville in 2022, but were forced to cancel after the untimely death of Taylor Hawkins. They dedicated the song "Aurora" to their former drummer in Daytona.

"We like to play this (one) no matter where we are, because this was Taylor's favorite Foo Fighters song," Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl said. "So, I want everyone to look up to the sky and give Taylor a whole lot of love right now. This one is for T."

The crowd responded by chanting Taylor's name.

The rest of the weekend featured other guest appearances and special tributes.

Heart's Ann Wilson took the stage with Disturbed and performed "Don't Tell Me" alongside singer David Draiman. RIFF RAFF, the rapper, and Jelly Roll joined Limp Bizkit, during a set which opened and closed with the same song — "Break Stuff" — and also included a gender reveal.

On Friday, Falling In Reverse was joined by Tech N9ne and Alex Terrible from Slaughter To Prevail for the first-ever live performance of "Ronald."

Jelly Roll honored the late Toby Keith with a version of "Should've Been A Cowboy," and also performed "Simple Man," as a tribute to Florida natives Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Motley Crue unleashed "Dogs of War" — the band's latest single and the first-ever song featuring new guitarist John 5 — on Thursday night in addition to the many rock anthems they've recorded during their 40-plus year career — including "Home Sweet Home," "Shout At The Devil," "Girls, Girls, Girls," and "Kickstart My Heart."

After touring extensively around the world recently, Crue has a much more limited schedule set for this year, mostly focusing on big festivals.

"These shows are very special to us," Crue bassist Nikki Sixx told the crowd.

Slipknot made its fourth appearance at Welcome To Rockville (2015, 2021 and 2023), but first with new drummer Eloy Casagrande. The band closed out the festival on Sunday night and brought the "Maggots" to a frenzy with a setlist which featured four songs from their 1999 self-titled debut album — "Eyeless," "Spit It Out," "Surfacing" and "Wait and Bleed.

"Let me see your hands in the ****ing air," frontman Corey Taylor demanded of the crowd as Slipknot opened the set with "People = S***."

The total attendance figure for the four-day event not only broke the festival's own previous record (170,000), but is the biggest-ever for any Danny Wimmer Presents production.

The DWP lineup of festivals also includes: Louder Than Life and Bourbon and Beyond (Louisville), Aftershock (Sacramento, California), Sonic Temple (Columbus, Ohio), Rocklahoma (Pyror, Oklahoma), Inkcaceration (Mansfield, Ohio), Born & Raised (Pryor, Oklahoma) and Golden Sky (Sacramento, California).

Dates for the 2025 edition of Welcome to Rockville have not yet been announced.